Sivut kuvina

this Order, “arë to treat of morality, and of morality alone."-Let us now consider the der finition of this morality, which is given in this discourfe_" Nor is true morality any other than the art of teaching men to shake off their wardships, to attain the age of manhood, and thus to need' neither princes nor governments. ---No; man is not fo wicked as an arbitrary morality would make him appear; he is wicked because religion, the state, and bad example, pervert him.-May our "principles become the foumdation of all morals'! Let REASO'N at length be the religion of man, and the problem is folved P.”_ The morality which is to perform this miracle, is not a morality of vain subtléties.---It is not that mo

' less of the goods (or blessings) of this world forbide" him the enjoyment of the innocent pleasures of life, and inspires him with the hatred of his neighbour. It must not be a favouring the interefte

only of its teachers';' which prescribes 'persecution and intoleration; which militates against reason;

[ocr errors]


** This preffing exhortation will enable the Reader to folve the problem of the altars, the worship, and the festivals of Reason, in the French Revolution ; nor will they be any longer at a loss to know from what loathfome den their Thameless goddess rose. Barruel, vol. iii. p: 200.



[ocr errors]

which forbids the prudent use of the passions ; whose virtues are no other than inaction, idleness, and the heaping up of riches, on the lothful. Above all, it must not be that morality which, adding to the miseries of the miserable, throws them into a state of pusillanimity and despair, by the threats of hell, and the fear of devils. It must, on the contrary, be that morality so much disregarded and defaced at the present day of selfishness, and replete with heterogeneous principles. It must be a divine do&trine, such as Jefus taught to his disciples, and of which he


the real interpretation in his secret conferences.


Before we enter farther into this mystery

lafphemous iniquity, I shall prefent the Reader with the following extracts as a more full explanation of this wonder-working morality:

[ocr errors]

ductive of mischief." All things are lawful when taken in thii proper connexion.". . Every thing which is useful is an act of virtue. The fource of the pafsions is puré ; it is necessary that every one should be able to gratify his, within the bounds of virtue, and that our Order should furnish him with the means.


But the whole will be found comprised in the following Theory of Human Nature," according to the opinion of one of their teachers. The leading propensities of the human mind are three ; instinctive liberty, instinctive activity, and instinctive love. If a man is obstructed in the exercife of any of these propenfities, be fuffers an injury. The business of a good education therefore is to teach us how they are to be enjoyed in the highest degree ;" or, in other words, how he may be restored to the imprescriptible rights of man in a state of favage life.

Before we return to the discourse of the Hierophant, let us alfo read the account of this degree, which is given in their private letters. “ Wė, must consider the ruling propensities of every age in the world. At present the cheats and tricks of the priefts have roufed all men against them, and against Christianity ?.” But at the same time, superftition and fanaticifm rule with unlimited dominion, and the understanding of man really seems to be going backwards. Our task therefore is doubled. We must give' such

9. See p. 124. of this Volume, concerning the origin of Infidelity


[ocr errors]

an account of things;o that fanatics shall not be alarmed, and that shall, not withstanding, excité a spirit of free enquiry. “We must make the secret doétrines of Chriftianity be received as the isecrets of genuine Free Mafonry. But farther, we have to deal with the defpotism of Princes. This increafes every day, But then, the spirit of freedom breathes and fighs in every corner stand by the aflifance of bidden schools of wisdom, liberty and equality, the natural and imprescriptible rights of many warm and glow. in every breaft, We must therefore unite these extremes. We proceed in this manner. Jesus Chrift established no mew teligion; he wouldionly fet Religion and Reafon in theirbantient rights. «"'For this purpofę he would unite meni in a common band. He would fit them for this, by spread ing a juft marality, by enlightening the underftanding, and by affifting the mind to fhake off all prejudices. He would teach all men in the firft place, to govern themselvess Rulers dvould then be needless and equality and liberry would take place without any revolution, by the natural and gentle operation of reason and expediency. This great teacher allows himself to explain every part of the Bible in conformity to these purposes; and he forbids all wrangling among his scholars, because every man may


[ocr errors]

there find a reafonable application to his pečuliar doctrines.--Let this be true or falfe, it does not signify:--This was a simple religion, and it was so far, inspired; but the minds of his hearers were not fitted for receiving these doctrines. į told you, says he, but you could ņot bear it. Many therefore were called, but few were chosen. To his Ele&t were intrusted the most important secrets; and even among them there were degrees of information. There was a seventy, and a twelve. All this was in the natural order of things, and, according to the habits of the Jews, and indeed of all antiquity, the Jewish Theosophy was a mystery, like the Eleusinian, or the Pythagorean, unfit for the vulgar. And thus the doctrines of Christianity were committed to the Adepti, in a Disciplina Arcani. . By these they were maintained like the Vestal, fire. They were kept up only in hidden societies, who handed them down to posterity; and they are now in the possession of the genuine Free-Masons.” "And now it will appear that we are the only true Christians. We shall now be in a condition to say a few words to priests and princes. I have fo contrived things, that I would admit even popes and kings, after the trial I have prefixed.


« EdellinenJatka »